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NZ spending on credit, debit cards jumps most in 28 months

Tuesday 13th April 2010

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New Zealanders pulled out their credit and debit cards and spent more last month, with food, liquor, furniture, appliance and fuel the big winners.

The value of electronic point of sale transactions across all industries rose a seasonally adjusted 1.2% last month, after falling 0.4% in February, according to Statistics New Zealand data.

Retail sales, including vehicle related industries, jumped 2.1%, the biggest monthly gain since November 2007, while core retail sales, which excludes auto-related retail, jumped 2.2%. This was led by consumable goods, such as food, liquor and chemist items, and durable goods, including furniture, hardware and appliances, along with increased spending on fuel.

The card data covers about two-thirds of New Zealand’s retail sales, though it doesn’t capture cash and cheque transactions.

The data follows yesterday’s release by Paymark, which processes more than 75% of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, which reported a 4.8% increase in spending last month, and comes in ahead of tomorrow’s retail trade figures for February. Consumer spending is expected to be flat in February after a 0.8% gain in January, according to a Reuters survey.

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